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London Games Festival to Feature Sony Alumni

September 30, 2009 Written by Kyle P.


Microsoft’s Neil Thompson and PlayStation Home boss Pete Edwards sign up for October’s must-attend event, BAFTA, London, 27 October 2009

The final program for the London Games Conference has been announced, with an impressive and eclectic line-up of speakers, panelists and topics, including shadow minister for culture Ed Vaizey, Microsoft’s Neil Thompson, PlayStation Home’s Pete Edwards and former president of Sony Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison. Themes already emerging include how established firms are adapting to the emergence of digital distribution, and how specialist companies and new business models are rising up to challenge them.

The event, which takes place at BAFTA in Piccadilly on Tuesday 27 October, starts at 5pm with an opening address from Ed Vaizey, who will outline the Conservative Party’s plans for the industry.

The conference proper then gets underway with a ‘big picture’ presentation from Nick Parker, one of the industry’s most respected analysts, outlining the current landscape and projected growth for digital distribution.

Other highlights include a session chaired by industry legend Phil Harrison looking at the decline and possible demise of physical media.

There is also a panel headed by Edge editor Tony Mott in which the three hardware kings, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, will all discuss their online gaming services and plans to expand them. Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson and the director of PlayStation Home Pete Edwards will both attend this discussion.

“We’ve had a huge response from the industry since we announced London Games Conference proving there is a real appetite out there from retailers, publishers and developers who want to find about more about digital distribution and how it will undoubtedly impact their business as we head into a new decade,” commented Stuart Dinsey, managing director of conference organiser Intent Media.

The full programme is as follows:

  • 5:05pm – Opening Address
    Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture
  • The man who may well be the games industry’s next voice in government talks directly to the London Games Conference for the event’s opening speech.
  • 5:10pm – The Future of Digital Distribution
    Nick Parker, Parker Consulting
  • Where are we headed next? One of the games market’s most respected analysts outlines the current digital distribution landscape and offers up exclusive pointers to the future of the sector.
  • 5:35pm: – Daddy, What’s a Disc?
    A panel discussion on the death of physical media and the business models that will replace them.
  • Host: Phil Harrison, Former president of Sony Worldwide Studios
    Panellists: Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and co-founder, Playfish; Mark Gerhard, CEO, Jagex; Thomas Bidaux, CEO, ICO Partners
  • 6:30pm – The New Food Chain
  • Video games will still be made, sold and distributed. But not like they have been. This panel discussion will look at the new lines of demarcation between development, retail, publishing and distribution.
    Host: Andy Payne, ELSPA
    Panellists: Charles Cecil, CEO, Revolution Software; Nick Pili, Network Director, SEGA; Gian Luzio, Product Director, The Hut; Rich Keen, Marketing Director, Direct2Drive
  • 7:00pm – Charting the Progress of PC Downloads
    Dorian Bloch, GfK-ChartTrack
  • The man behind the UK games sector’s invaluable sales charts (and holder of vast amounts of market data) talks on how digital distribution is the future of the PC games market – and makes a forceful case for a industry download chart.
  • 7:20pm – Outside the Box
    Key figures from the market’s three established format holders discuss their roles in the brave new digital future.
    Host: Tony Mott, Edge
    Panellists: Pete Edwards, Director, PlayStation Home, SCE; Neil Thompson, Senior Regional Director, UK & Ireland, Microsoft; TBA, Nintendo
  • 8:00pm Dinner and Networking

Tickets, priced at £229, are selling fast. To secure your delegate place, please contact or call 01992 535647. Discounts are available for ELSPA and Tiga members.